“All you’ve got to do is jump” he yells. There are thirty of us lying in the baking sand attempting to follow our surf instructor’s orders. “It’s easy” he trills. People around me are trying to pop up, and they’re definitely not finding it easy. They’re an assortment of different sizes, ages, and fitness levels. The surf instructor is trying to get us all to do the exact same thing.
At that time I was on a surf camp in Australia. By the end of the week a lot of my fellow students had given up. Surfing has evolved over the last 2 decades. Teenage boys and young men used to be virtually the only participants. Nowadays families, grandparents, and women in their 40s, 50s and 60s want a part of the action. The sport is a much broader church. The problem is that a lot of surf instruction is still stuck in the 90s. Which includes the belief that there’s only one way of popping up.
At Pura Vida Adventures we don’t use this cookie cutter style of teaching. We have lots of techniques to get people up and riding. We believe that surfing is for everyone. Okay, it’s true that if you come to our surf camp with a good level of fitness then you will progress faster. But everyone has to start somewhere. Imagine telling Bethany Hamilton (the inspirational one armed surfer from Hawaii) that there’s only one way to pop up.
In this video Surf Instructor Helen runs through the different knee pop ups we use for students who are finding the other types of pop up too difficult…
All the surf instructors at Pura Vida Adventures are patient and caring people who can help you begin your surfing journey. Our week long retreats are held in a luxury, beachfront resort on one of the most stunning, tropical beaches in the world. The food tastes like angels copulating on your tongue, the yoga is divine, the lush environment is soul soothing, and the waves are gentle. But the truth is, the thing that our clients always highlight and the thing that keeps them coming back, is the people. Specifically, it’s the surf instructors. They are compassionate and fun and they are trained to teach everyone as individuals. They are surf geeks, not surf dudes; and they go above and beyond every single day.
Remember that popping up using your knees doesn’t have to be your end goal, it’s just the start. As Helen says in the video, the important thing is that you’re out there in the ocean, catching waves, having fun and getting stronger. Eventually you might want to try transitioning to popping up straight to the feet, check out the video on this page https://puravidaadventures.com/surfing-101-surf-video-series/ for more information on that. Practicing your pop ups on your bedroom floor is a great way to get ready for surf camp. Surfing is 20 percent waves and 80 percent attitude, so stay motivated!